St. Louis Mercantile Library

B-5: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Historical Society Collections

 

HISTORY: Desiring to make the collection as accessible as possible to both GM&OHS members and non-members alike, the Society's officers and board of directors donated this collection in 1993. The collection is the result of many years of dedicated collecting and preservation not only of the titled railroad's business and operational records, but also of predecessor roads such as the Chicago & Alton, the Alton Railroad, Mobile & Ohio, and Mobile & Northern.

SCOPE: The collection reflects many detailed aspects of the business history and operations of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad, a colorful and historic Midwestern and Southern road.Included are extensive correspondence between railroad officials, internal reports and memoranda on many topics, employee records, operational documents for freight and passenger service, public and employee timetables, maps, plans for structures of all types, and black & white and some color photographs. The records date generally from the late 1800s through the 1970s, with the strongest concentrations in the early 1900s, and from 1940-1960. The collection is arranged in 14 subjects or document types identified by series number:

Series 1: Executive Papers (including Mergers and the H.B. Vorhees Files);
Series 2: Annual Reports;
Series 3: Legal Papers;
Series 4: Personnel Records;
Series 5: Traffic and Transportation;
Series 6: Operations;
Series 7: Mechanical;
Series 8: Engineering and Maintenance of Way (including Maps, Track Charts and Profiles);
Series 9: Photographs;
Series 10: Railroad Employee Magazines and Newsletters;
Series 11: Other Railroads and Organizations;
Series 12: GM&O Historical Society Files;
Series 13: Oversized and Framed Materials and Artifacts;
Series 14:Additional Subcollections (identified by original collectors' names: Norbert Shacklette (documents on Chicago & Alton Steam Locomotives and their maintenance); M. Barkoviac (Chicago & Alton contracts, tariffs, and correspondence); and Lee Hastman (detailed Chicago & Alton passenger car specifications and plans).

HOLDINGS: 292 record boxes with additional larger items including framed prints, artwork, and artifacts.

ACCESS: A published finding aid for Special Collection B-5 is available: A Guide to the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Historical Society Collectionsin the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, 1996.

Some of the collection may either be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed, depending on condition.